Founded in 2013, Ensemble SF is a malleable collective of musicians dedicated to inspiring a more inclusive world through art. Beyond the traditional concert hall setting, Ensemble SF is also dedicated to bringing world class music to groups throughout the Bay Area including at schools, juvenile detention centers, community centers, hospitals and nursing homes. This program will include works of Johannes Brahms, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Polina Nazaykinskaya.
Ensemble SF musicians:
Rebecca Jackson-Picht, violin
Matt Young, viola
Angela Lee, cello
Elizabeth Schumann, piano
Violinist Rebecca Jackson-Picht's performances have been described as "riveting" and characterized by a "fierce spirit." She is founder and artistic director of Music in May, an annual chamber music festival in Santa Cruz that celebrates its 15th season this year. Rebecca has been a part of commissioning and premiering 12 chamber works. Most recently, she performed the San Jose and San Francisco premieres of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope [made possible by Music at Kohl Mansion and Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions]. She regularly performs with San Francisco Ballet, and during her five seasons as acting member of Santa Fe Opera Orchestra the company won 2019 Grammy for Best Opera Recording for (R)evolution of Steve Jobs.
Believing strongly in the power of music to heal and unite, Rebecca has performed in marginalized communities across the U.S., Ukraine, Romania, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nepal, Costa Rica and Lebanon. She regularly brings colleagues together for performances at juvenile halls. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that this outreach "revives the evocative and visceral power of music that can be too often deadened in more formal concert environments." In 2013, combining her passion for music and community engagement, she cofounded Sound Impact and Ensemble SF.
In 2018, Rebecca received a KSBW Jefferson Award in recognition of her volunteerism and public service. The following year, she and her father coauthored the biography of her mentor David Arben, Holocaust survivor and former associate concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The book, ARBEN: David Arben's Life of Miracles & Successes, by Dr. John Jackson and Rebecca Jackson is available on Amazon and at www.davidarben.com. The story was recently featured on NBC News. Ms. Jackson received her Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School and a Master of Music from University of California, Santa Cruz.
Violist Matt Young grew up on a farm in Kentucky, and began playing music at an early age with his family. He eventually studied at the University of Kentucky, the Yale School of Music, and the Cleveland Institute of Music with his mentor Robert Vernon.
Matt has played chamber music with members of the Cleveland, Juilliard and Takacs Quartets, the Florestan Trio, members of the top orchestras of Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Concertgebauw, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. He was a founding member of the Verklärte Quartet, which won grand prize of the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition during his time with that group. Young has performed with the Boston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the Minnesota and Saint Paul orchestras, among many others. He was the winner of a McKnight Fellowship for performing artists, as well as the Robert Vernon Prize in viola performance. In addition, Young has been featured as a soloist with the CIM Orchestra in Severance Hall, as a tenured member of the San Francisco Symphony in Beethoven's Opus 74 string quartet in a subscription concert, and as acting principal and soloist in Haydn's Symphony No. 6 under Raphael Frubeck de Burgos.
A founding member of Ensemble SF, he's very involved with community engagement throughout the Bay Area in low arts access communities, including Raphael House in the Tenderloin, the LGBT Center on Market, Juvenile halls in SF and Felton, and the Institute on Aging in SF. He is also on the faculty of the San Francisco Academy Orchestra and frequently at the National Orchestral Institute.
Since giving her Carnegie Hall debut in 1994, cellist Angela Lee's "amazing finesse, control and coloration" [San Francisco Chronicle] and "astonishingly rich tone" [San Francisco Examiner] has been celebrated with recitals in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and Victor Borge Hall at Scandinavia House in New York, Chicago's Cultural Center, The Phillip's Collection and Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Copenhagen's Nationalmuseet and the Purcell Room at South Bank Centre in London. She has soloed with orchestras including the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, the San Francisco Concert Orchestra, the New Haven Symphony, the CAMS Orchestra, the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, the Paraiba Symphony, São Paulo State Orchestra, the Chautauqua Symphony, and the Hertfordshire Chamber Orchestra (UK), performing works of Boccherini to Barber to Kernis. Her solo and chamber performances have taken her throughout North and South America, Australasia, Europe and Asia. She is frequently invited to festivals including St. Petersburg's Revelations, IMS at Prussia Cove, Cagayan Valley International Music Festival, Taipei Summer Festival, Pontino Festival, La Musica, Banff, Marlboro Music Festival, Anneberg Festival, Chelsea Music Festival, Music Mountain, and Mahler-Jihlava Festival, collaborating with the likes of Nobuko Imai, Bruno Giuranna, Frans Helmerson, Isabelle Faust, Lydia Artymiw, Andras Schiff, Alexander Lonquich, Anthony Newman, Franco Petracchi, the Hausmann Quartet, and members of the Beaux Arts Trio and Guarneri Quartet.
She is the recipient of the Ruth T. Brooks Achievement Award for Continued Excellence in the Arts, a grant from the Foundation for American Musicians in Europe, a Fulbright scholarship to study in London with William Pleeth, the Jury Prize in the Naumburg International Cello Competition, and a cello performance fellowship from The American-Scandinavian Foundation. Her cello is a 1762 Nicolo Gagliano from Naples.
Pianist Elizabeth Schumann has a diverse career portfolio of projects, recordings and performances which have brought her all over the world as recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist. The Washington Post Magazine noted her playing as "deft, relentless and devastatingly good—the sort of performance you experience not so much with your ears as your solar plexus." The first place winner of both the Bösendorfer International Piano Competition and the Pacific International Piano Competition, Elizabeth has won over 25 prizes and awards in other major national and international competitions, including the Cleveland International Piano Competition and the Hilton Head International Piano Competition. She was honored with the prestigious Gilmore Young Artists Award, and was highlighted in a PBS Television documentary on the Gilmore Festival.
She has performed solo recitals and chamber music concerts worldwide, in such venues as the Kennedy Center, Vienna's Bösendorfer Saal, Toronto's Koerner Hall, and Montreal's Place des Arts.
Featured at the International UNICEF benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina victims, the Cannes Film Festival, the Gilmore Festival, Australia's Huntington Festival, the Musica Viva chamber music series, the Ravinia "Rising Stars" Series, and National Public Radio's Performance Today, her recitals have been broadcast live on public radio and television in cities around the world, including Washington, D.C., New York, Sydney, Cleveland, Montréal, Dallas and Chicago. Elizabeth gave the world premiere performance of Carl Vine's Sonata No. 3, which the composer dedicated to her.
Passionate about creating public access to the arts, Elizabeth founded Piano Theatre, an artist group formed to engage audiences with innovative combinations of classical music, theatre, literature, art and technology. Piano Theatre's recent tours of the US, Canada and Australia were acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. Elizabeth founded and is president of Project Classical, Inc., a 501(c)(3)organization whose mission is to support artist-led initiatives that encourage public education and appreciation of classical music. Concerned with the declining funding for arts education in the United States, Elizabeth devised and directed Piano Carnival, a project to introduce free, high quality classical concert music to children in areas without arts education. Carrying on the pedagogical tradition of her teacher, Sergei Babayan, Elizabeth has been on faculty at Itzhak Perlman's Perlman Music Program and the Crowden Chamber Workshop, and she is the director of the Schumann Studio, a classical recording studio in San Francisco.
Funded in part by the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. Senior Programs are made possible in part by generous contributions from the John R. Schwabacher Family, Diane and Jon Claerbout in memory of their beloved son Jos. We are grateful for the generous support of all of our donors.
COVID-19 Information: Masks are encouraged for all OFJCC in-door events. We follow up-to-date CDC guidelines regarding COVID safety measures.
Tuesday, November 15
1:00–2:00 PM | Doors open at 12:30 PM | Linger after the concert for a snack and beverage.
Albert and Janet Schultz Cultural Arts Hall (Bldg F)
Purchase tickets online, by calling the Customer Service Desk at (650) 223-8700 or pay at the door.
Contact: Michelle Rosengaus | [email protected]